USF Faculty Changing the World: Biology

Thursday, September 12, 2013
11:45 AM - 12:30 PM
Lo Schiavo Science 103 - Computational Lab
Event Type
Events and Lectures
Tzagarakis-Foster, Christina

"A Tale of Two Cytokines: How Herpesviruses Contribute to Cancer Progression"

by Prof Juliet Spencer

Juliet Spencer is an Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Biology Department. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Virginia and completed postdoctoral training at ChemoCentryx, Inc. She was a Senior Scientist in Drug Discovery at Ceretek, LLC before joining the faculty at USF in 2003. Research in her laboratory is currently focused on two areas: 1) the contribution of herpesviruses to the development or progression of cancer, and 2) strategies herpesviruses use to manipulate the host immune system and establish lifelong latent infection.


“The Fun World of Frog Species Identification!”

by Associate Professor Jennifer Dever

Jennifer Dever is an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Professional Masters in Biotechnology Program. In collaboration with the California Academy of Science, Dr. Dever and her student, Hai Nguyen, have been working on identifying frogs collected from Myanmar within the genus Theloderma (small tree frogs found in tropical and subtropical forests that spend most of their lives in water-filled tree cavities (Orlov, 1997). They have analyzed DNA data from five individuals. Results indicate the existence of two new species -both of which are morphologically nearly identical to T. asperum. They have also found a species that had not been recorded since 1893. Myanmar is located at the intersection of three biogeographic regions making it one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Southeast Asia (Dijk et al. 1999) illustrating the value of this ecoregion in terms of biodiversity. This research is part of a larger attempt to chronicle that biodiversity in an effort to better protect species.

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